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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars That�s Cadfael
These are three short stories about Cadfael before the novels begin, that is before 1143 when civil war raged through England. In the novels Cadfael is over 60 and his past is referred to lightly. In the first of these stories, 'A light on the Road', Cadfael is in his forties and newly returned to England, his soldiering days waning. It is during this adventure that...
Published on 11 Oct 2002 by pennymwood2

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars CADFAEL
I was very disappointed with this book as I believed it would explain some of Cadfael's earlier life. The 3 stories in the book are not up to the normal Cadfael mysteries, and if I had read this book first I don't think I would have read any of his other stories. Overall it was a disappointing read not up to the normal standard.
Published on 16 Jan 2012 by A. W. Pattinson


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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars That�s Cadfael, 11 Oct 2002
This review is from: A Rare Benedictine (The Chronicles of Brother Cadfael) (Paperback)
These are three short stories about Cadfael before the novels begin, that is before 1143 when civil war raged through England. In the novels Cadfael is over 60 and his past is referred to lightly. In the first of these stories, 'A light on the Road', Cadfael is in his forties and newly returned to England, his soldiering days waning. It is during this adventure that Cadfael meets the Prior of The Abbey of St Peter and St Paul in Shrewsbury and makes his decision to join the Benedictines. The other two stories follow the themes we have come to expect from this mediaeval super sleuth.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 stories of Cadfael's early career, 8 Feb 2002
By A Customer
Incidentally, if you're looking for an audio edition, I recommend Stephen Thorne's unabridged narration over any other recording.
In 1120, Cadfael saw "A Light on the Road to Woodstock". Roger Mauduit's father deeded a manor to the abbey of Shrewsbury, which granted it back to him as a life tenant. The old man and Abbot Fulchered trusted one another, and were careless with the charter's actual wording. Now that both principals and all the witnesses have passed away, Roger has brought suit against the abbey that the tenancy is hereditary, and should remain with him, so Mauduit and the abbey's representative, Prior Heribert, are bringing the case before King Henry at Woodstock. Prior Heribert is armed with the abbey's correspondence with old man Mauduit as proof of intent.
Unfortunately, Mauduit knows his only hope is to keep Heribert from appearing in court, so the King will find for Mauduit in default. When 'footpads in the forest' kidnap Heribert, Cadfael (a Welsh armsman temporarily in Mauduit's employ) becomes suspicious. (This story also describes the first few stones that grew into the avalanche of the civil war between the Empress Maud (the King's daughter) and King Stephen.)
"The Price of Light" In 1135, Hamo FitzHamon, a harsh, self-indulgent lord of 2 manors, takes thought for his soul, when his sixtieth year greets him with a mild seizure. On the theory that the prayers of the brothers carry more weight with Heaven than those of ordinary recipients of charity, he has arrived at Shrewsbury for Christmas with his young wife, to conclude a charter arranging payment for the lighting of Mary's altar, and to gift the altar with 2 exquisite silver candlesticks (despite the custodian's opinion that the value of the candlesticks would be better sent to the almoner in this harsh winter). When the candlesticks disappear from the altar, half-blind Brother Jordan, who knows the value of light better than anyone, says that he has witnessed a miracle, of which he may not speak for 3 days.
"Eye Witness" A few days before the abbey's annual rents fall due, poor Brother Ambrose has fallen ill, and the abbey has had to hire a lay clerk to handle the paperwork. Master William, the abbey's steward, takes Ambrose's illness as almost a personal insult, but he's a complaining sort of man, whose worst cross to bear is his wild, continually-in-debt son. The day that Master William collects the rents, Madog of the Dead Boat fishes him out of the river - knocked out from behind, robbed, and thrown into the river for dead, but rescued just short of drowning. Cadfael, knowing that the church attic overlooks the scene of the attack, persuades old Rhodri the beggar (who sleeps up there) to help him bait a trap for the thief.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Three short stories introducing the detective/monk Cadfael, 6 Oct 2008
By 
Marshall Lord (Whitehaven, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
A wonderful collection of three short stories (about 50 pages each) illustrating how the former crusader Cadfael came to become a monk, and three of the early mysteries he solved.

This review was posted for the Ulverscroft Large Print edition, and please note that in one important respect the Amazon editorial review above is not applicable to this version of the book. This large print edition has the merit of being easy to read, but lacks Clifford Harper's beautiful illustrations as found in some other editions of this book.

Includes an interesting author's introduction by Ellis Peters (or to use her real name, Edith Pargeter), and it provides brief glimpses into her favorite monastic's rare name, worldly career and personality.

Brother Cadfael's personal philosophy includes wry but compassionate acceptance of human foibles with our capacity for deception and wickedness. His devoted admirers will revel in any literary work which fills in the gaps about the delightful literary figure who has been called the "cowled crusader".

If you are a fan of Brother Cadfael, and have read all 20 of his full-length mysteries, you will be pleased to find one last chance to admire him in action. If you have not yet been introduced to Ellis Peters' medieval sleuth, this short story collection is one possible introduction, although the first of the full-length novels about him, "A Morbid Taste for Bones" might be an even better one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Introducing Brother Cadfael, 3 Jun 2009
By 
Nicholas Casley (Plymouth, Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Rare Benedictine (The Chronicles of Brother Cadfael) (Paperback)
These three short-stories feature the advent of Cadfael's crime-solving abilities. They are `The Price of Light' (1979); `Eyewitness' (1981); and `A Light on the Road to Woodstock' (1985).

The first in time is the last to be written: it's the year 1120 in `A Light on the Road to Woodstock'. Cadfael has returned to England in the service of Roger Maudit, who had been fighting for King Henry I's cause in Normandy. Roger has issues with the Abbot of Shrewsbury that require his attendance at the king's court at Woodstock in Oxfordshire ...

In `The Price of Light', it is now 1135 and two new candlesticks disappear the night they are donated to the abbey's Lady Chapel. Cadfael discovers where they were taken and why ...

Finally, we move on to the year 1140 in `Eyewitness'. The abbey's rent-collector in Shrewsbury is robbed and almost murdered. Who did it? Four suspects are in the frame.

In her short three-page introduction to this selection of three early Cadfael short-stories, Ellis Peters explains how she arrived at the choice of name for her monastic sleuth. She also writes how, "for reasons of continuity I did not wish to go back in time and write a book about his crusading days." Alas!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Enthusiastic rating, 27 Aug 2013
By 
WALTON Gabriel Mary (Italy) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Rare Benedictine (The Chronicles of Brother Cadfael) (Paperback)
This product is excellent from all points of view: a wonderful and complex story, very high quality of book, nearly new, and complete with useful plastic cover (ex-library) and prompt service. Thanks!
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5.0 out of 5 stars MEDIEVAL MURDER MYSTERY, 12 Mar 2013
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This review is from: A Rare Benedictine (The Chronicles of Brother Cadfael) (Paperback)
A VERY NICE ADDITION TO A COMPLETE COLLECTION OF CADFAEL MYSTERIES , GIVING A NEAT INTRODUCTION TO OUR HERO'S ADOPTION INTO THEBENEDICTINECOMMUNITY...WHILE RETAINING A WORLDLINESS , THAT GIVES HIM AN UNDERSTANDING OF HUMAN FRAILTY , & SOMETIMES PROMPTS HIM TOWARDS BENDING THE RULES IN FAVOUR OF HUMANITY , AS WELL AS JUSTICE !!

PRODUCT LIVES UP TO IT'S DESCRIPTION , WELL PACKAGED , & DELIVERED WELL WITHIN THE TIME FRAME
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read, 12 Jan 2011
This review is from: A Rare Benedictine (The Chronicles of Brother Cadfael) (Paperback)
It is said that anyone who follows Brother Cadfael must read this. I quite agree, but then I love Brother Cadfael, so I am prejudiced!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars CADFAEL, 16 Jan 2012
By 
A. W. Pattinson "Alpat" (Warrington) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Rare Benedictine (The Chronicles of Brother Cadfael) (Paperback)
I was very disappointed with this book as I believed it would explain some of Cadfael's earlier life. The 3 stories in the book are not up to the normal Cadfael mysteries, and if I had read this book first I don't think I would have read any of his other stories. Overall it was a disappointing read not up to the normal standard.
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A Rare Benedictine (The Chronicles of Brother Cadfael)
A Rare Benedictine (The Chronicles of Brother Cadfael) by Ellis Peters (Paperback - 4 Oct 1990)
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